Saints Reportedly Interested in Dez Bryant Return After Achilles Injury

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 11, 2018

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 31: Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys looks on prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 31, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Wide receiver Dez Bryant tore his Achilles on Friday just two practices into his New Orleans Saints career, ending his 2018 season before it began. But the team "would be open to Bryant coming back" if he is healthy, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

It will be a while before Bryant can put that to the test, with Rapoport noting the veteran is likely facing a six- to nine-month recovery.

Bryant's new teammates were quick to offer him support in the wake of his season-ending injury:

Mark Ingram II @MarkIngram22

The “X” still going up bro!! 🙅🏾‍♂️🙅🏾‍♂️🙅🏾‍♂️ https://t.co/dVpFJrE62w

Benjamin Watson @BenjaminSWatson

@DezBryant Just one stop on the journey my brother. You’ve already left your mark on this locker room even though it’s only been two days. Looking forward to seeing you ball again. Keep pressing on!! We are here for you! Rom 8:28

Michael Thomas @Cantguardmike

Best believe we throwing up the X still bro 🙅🏾‍♂️ #weallwegot

Bryant, 30, spent the first half of the season as a free agent after he was cut by the Dallas Cowboys in April. He caught 69 passes for 838 yards and six scores in 2017.

Dallas decided that production didn't warrant the $12.5 million he was due in 2018. In his prime with the Cowboys, Bryant was one of the game's top receivers and most dangerous weapons, registering at least 88 receptions, 1,200 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns each season from 2012 to 2014.

Injuries cost him 10 games in 2015-16, however, and by last season Bryant's days as a dynamic No. 1 seemed behind him.

In New Orleans, he wasn't expected to be much more than a third or fourth option. Michael Thomas highlights the wideout group, Alvin Kamara is the team's offensive focal point, and players like wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith and tight end Benjamin Watson have carved out roles for themselves in the offense.

Still, Bryant could have provided the team with a dangerous weapon in the red zone and solid No. 2 wideout behind Thomas. Those plans are over for this season. Whether the Saints keep them in mind this offseason and retain Bryant remains to be seen.